Day: November 23, 2016

Voting Underway For Grand Prix Stakes 2016

Voting is underway for invitations to the 2016 Grand Prix Stakes which is set for Seoul Racecourse on Sunday December 18. Fifteen horses from Seoul and seventeen from Busan are on the ballot for the 2300M contest which will have a maximum field size of sixteen and could well be bereft of any previous winners of the traditional season-ending finale.

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Bold Kings beat Gumpo Sky and Clean Up Joy in a terrific Grand Prix last year. The winner is retired but the 2nd and 3rd are expected to line-up again (Pic: KRA)

The race is based on Japan’s season-ending Arima Kinen in which entry is also decided by a punters’ vote although admittedly, on a much smaller scale. Voting is open for registered users of the KRA’s homepage (www.kra.co.kr) and runs through until Monday November 28.

Horses expected to score highly in the vote from Seoul include KRA Cup Classic winner Clean Up Joy and Ttukseom Cup winner and Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup runner-up Bichui Jeongsang. From Busan, President’s Cup winner Triple Nine and Triple Crown winner Power Blade will of course score highly enough to receive invitations but there will be plenty of votes too for the likes of Beolmaui Kkum, Heba, Gumpo Sky, Diferent Dimension, Dongbang Daero and now, possibly after her Sunday win, Ms. Margaux. Here is the full list of horses on the ballot paper (2016 Stakes winners listed first):

Seoul

Miso Wangja (YTN Cup)
Bichui Jeongsang (Ttukseom Cup)
Clean Up Joy (KRA Cup Classic)
Touch Flying (Ilgan Sports Cup)
Winner Red
Space Port
Halla Chukje
Meni Music
Mighty Gem
Unbeatable
Theme Deunggeuk
Clean Up Cheonha
Cheonjeok
Muhudaeje
Heart Roy

Busan

Power Blade (KRA Cup Mile, Korean Derby, Minister’s Cup)
Gamdonguibada (Busan Ilbo Cup)
Triple Nine (Owners’ Cup, President’s Cup)
Beolmaui Kkum (Busan Mayor’s Cup)
Santa Gloria
Dynamic Dash
Mainstay
Success Story
Tohamsan
Miracle Line
Dongbang Daero
Diferent Dimension
Ms. Margaux
Heba
Gumpo Sky
Beolmaui Sin
Goliath Marine

If Gamdonguibada doesn’t make it in – and unless a lot of invitations are declined, there’s a strong chance she won’t – this will be the first Grand Prix in recent years not to feature a previous winner. Gamdonguibada won the race as a three-year-old all the way back in 2012 and is the only past champion still in training. 2013 winner Indie Band, 2014’s Gyeongbudaero and last year’s champion Bold Kings have all been retired.

In fact, the last time there were no previous winners in the starting line-up was 2003, when the race was won by Tempest West (Silent Tempest). Defending champion Bohamian Butler (Patton) was entered but was a late scratching on the day – he never ran again.

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“Rivals” On Show / Park Jae I Wins In Australia / Imran Gets 10 Days

The villainous foreigner looks directly into the camera, eyes obscured by dark glasses no doubt in an attempt to disguise malign intentions. Meanwhile, the stout defender of Korean honour gazes wistfully, but determinedly, into the middle distance, face bathed in an almost saintly glow.

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There’s a good little exhibition running right now in the small museum at Seoul Racecourse called “The Rival” which attempts to build up some of the rivalries ongoing in racing in Korea. Peter Wolsley and Kim Young Kwan was the natural choice for the trainers while for jockeys, it is Moon Se Young and Kim Young Geun  so if you’ve ever wanted to see Moon Se Young’s schoolboy pictures, then a) why? and b) now’s your chance.

To keep things current, for horses, current stablemates Triple Nine and Power Blade were chosen (as opposed to say, Subsidy and Bally Brae) while it’s Menifee and Ecton Park for sires. The museum is located behind the Luckyville Grandstand on the Parade Ring side. It’s free entry and only takes a couple of minutes to look around. This particular exhibition runs until December 30th.

In other news, Busan apprentices Jin Kyum and Park Jae I are currently in Australia to gain overseas experience and Park was among the winners at Port Macquarie Racecourse in New South Wales on Tuesday afternoon. 20-year-old Park, who debuted in 2015 and rides off a 2kg claim with 21 winners to date in Korea, partnered 5-year-old mare Tiaconi to a two-length victory in the 1000M race 7 for owner/trainer Brett Bellamy (h/t Michael Cox):

Not such happy news for jockey Imran Chisty. The Indian rider has picked up a ten-day ban for his ride on Monday Money in race 4 at Seoul last Sunday. The fast finishing 5/1 chance just failed to get up for 2nd with Stewards of the view that slightly more vigour on the part of the jockey would have overcome the nose deficit. Because Seoul only races two days each week, it means the suspension doesn’t expire until Christmas Day.